On Rugged Tranquility Vol. 2, the latest cuts from Virginia keystone Ohbliv serve as a prescription for the ears from Dr. Sample himself. The 16-track expedition remains forward-thinking as Ohbliv paints detailed pictures of a reimagined past, laying brick after brick and beat after beat upon the sample-based works that many of us know him for.
Rugged Tranquility 1
The original Rugged Tranquility handed us the comb with which to style afro-textured sensibility. “Slapboxin’ Wit Ya Momma” has all the bounce of a club-focused beat, with a face-twisting phased guitar / keyline combo that swirls and churns psychedelically atop a crate digger's buffet of two-step drumming.
“Send It On Down” is a beat lover’s bread and butter - richly hued vocals dance atop a solid foot with melodic chops that revolve like a satellite around an addicting rhythm. “Lemme Holla Holla” beckons and calls atop a warped guitar, a delayed tambourine sprinkled atop this dreamy admixture. These are cuts that some heads know good and well - but with RT’s follow-up, Ohbliv takes it a step further.
A partner to his first digital beat tape, RT2 further articulates the funky emotion conveyed in that seminal work. ‘Bliv raises his knuckles straight away in the ring, starting with the hook shot that is “Da 1neWay”; Hot and buttery low end with a satin-lined groove, jumping out of the speakers with a kick drum that rattles bone. Beautifully haunting melodies on “Thinkin of U” take one back to past loves and past mistakes, echoing with the progressive rock sentiment he so often imbues.
Rugged Tranquility 2
“Bone Apple Tea” drips class, with strings that suggest dense sun-drenched environments dotted with free-form key work. Whether it be the lush digital keys on tracks like “Essential Qualities”, or “Lucky Day” with its hard kick drum perforating gentle vocals, Ohbliv’s newest project combines the saturated sonics of his 90’s upbringing with the crack and definition of expertly swung drums. Best believe Rugged Tranquility 2 is deeper than a follow-up.
We at Paxico have taken great care not only to issue Ohbliv's first full-length beat tape onto vinyl, but to accent its rich audio cornerstones with the all-new cuts of Rugged Tranquility Vol. 2. Old favorites are suddenly re-contextualized via Ohbliv's refined chops, imbued with a sense of time and place while always remaining evergreen. The River City don exemplifies Paxico's roots, creating forward-thinking music rooted in its own folkloric mystique that is deeply embedded within the Indigenous Black American experience. Cool out, and hit play.
- Don Lowrie-Morris II